Getting Comfortable with Conflict

Do you ever see something differently than someone else? Are you in a situation where you disagree with what is happening? If so, you may be experiencing conflict. From time to time people tell me that they do not have any conflict, and then proceed to tell me about a dispute with a family member, colleague, friend, or someone else. People feel pretty strongly about what conflict means, and often associate it with negativity. Is conflict really negative?

When you go swimming, the water may resist you from moving forward, but you push or pull the water to keep moving forward. The water’s resistance is neither positive nor negative. Likewise, conflict itself is neither positive or negative. We give conflict whatever meaning we choose. If you are involved in a conflict, does that make you a bad person? No, it means you are human. What if naming a conflict actually releases the power it currently has over you? 

If you deny the existence of conflict, it may keep you perpetually stuck in the same situation, or treading water in the same place indefinitely. Acknowledging conflict leads you to clarify your own needs. You will only figure out strategies for conflict resolution, when you name it. Otherwise, you may find yourself exhausted.

Admitting you have conflict in your life does not make you more or less nice. It may, however, provide a sense of freedom. What conflict means and how it impacts your life is up to you. Conflict coaching empowers individuals to gain clarity and engage confidently and compassionately. Allowing space for people to clarify needs and consider options may create more lasting solutions.

A civil and family mediator, peace builder, and educator, Sherry Ann Bruckner lives in Alexandria, Minnesota. Visit brucknermediation.com/services to learn more or call Sherry at (320) 808-3212 for help to transform conflict and create peace.

As always, be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.